Two people ,a man aged 64, and woman aged 81, affected with legionnaires' disease are in Royal North Shore Hospital,Sydney, after being exposed to the same type of legionella bacteria , NSW Health said..
The man's condition is reported to be serious, while the woman's has improved to a stable state, according to a hospital spokeswoman .
A visit to the cooling towers in the Northbridge area was carried out by the Health officials to identify the source of the exposure, Northern Sydney Central Coast public health unit director, Dr Peter Lewis said. He mentioned that the inspections revealed that appropriate standards have been maintained at the towers,and that there were no risks there for the community. On interviewing the patients' families, the health officials discovered that they had a "common exposure" after visiting the Northbridge area.
Dr Lewis said the patients were probably exposed to the bacteria about a couple of weeks ago, and there was a chance that more cases would be reported in the days to come.
He also added that the time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is usually around five to six days and that the symptoms of legionnaires' disease resembled those of the flu, including fever, chills, coughing, body and head aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and diarrhoea.
He pointed out that up to 70 cases of the infections were reported in NSW every year.